Things to Do in Izmir

Activities to do in Izmir

Hierapolis-Pamukkale, Experience a Turkish feast, Enjoy Turkish coffee, Visit the Kordon, Surf school, Izmir Museum of History and Art, Meshur Hisaronu Sambalicisi, International Izmir Festival, Enjoy some drinks La Puerta, Visit Sunset Café, Party your heart out at Kovan, Explore Devlet Opera ve Bale and many more.

‘Too little time and too much to do’ is the perfect way to describe a holiday in Izmir. With so many things to do in Izmir, it is best to make a proper vacation plan so that you don’t miss out on anything. Take a break from your hectic schedule and visit the historical sites and architecture of the city. Turkey tour packages from India offer a fantastic opportunity to take a break from your hectic schedule and visit the historical sites and architecture of the city.

The list of romantic things to do in Izmir makes it an ideal honeymoon destination. Enjoy adventure sports in Surf school or relax with a couple's spa at Selcuk Hamam. Get your fill of delicious Turkish food and the famous Turkish coffee at its various cafes.

Even for nocturnal souls, there are plenty of things to do at Izmir at night. Party into the night at Kovan , or solely enjoy the sunset with some chilled beer at Sunset Café. Or one could simply go for long walks in the night through the beautifully lit streets of Izmir. A holiday in Izmir feels no less than a holiday in heaven. If planning a trip to Izmir, make sure you have enough days in hand to soak in all the sights and sounds of the city for the experience of a lifetime.

Here are some of the best things to do in Izmir:

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Izmir Agora

Izmir Agora is an ancient Roman site that is sandwiched between the streets of Kemerati and the hillside of Izmir. It offers a glimpse of the eighty-five years old history of this area when it was earlier known as Smyrna.


Discover Ephesus, an ancient city near Izmir, where history comes alive. Stroll through the remarkably preserved ruins, including the grand Library of Celsus and the expansive Great Theatre. Once a vibrant port and a key player in early Christianity, Ephesus offers a captivating glimpse into the past with every step you take.

Pergamon Acropolis

This is one of the best places to visit in Ankara and Izmir if you wish to gasp into the historical tales of this city! The Acropolis consists of ruins of an ancient structure, with only the pillars remaining now! The rest of the structure is now located in the Pergamon Museum, and apart from this, Pergamon Acropolis also has an erstwhile theatre, located right at the edge of the cliff!


Discover Alaçatı, a quaint coastal town in İzmir. Wander through narrow, cobblestone streets lined with colourful stone houses and bougainvillaea. Experience its vibrant culinary scene, rich winemaking tradition, and renowned windsurfing at Port Alaçatı Marina. Attend local festivals, relax on sandy beaches, or explore its iconic windmills on the hills.

Kemeralti Market

This is the favorite haunt of the shopping enthusiasts, and you can buy souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones. This bustling bazaar is frequented by both tourists and locals to buy everything under the sun at budget-friendly prices.

Izmir Wildlife Park

Surrounded by lush green trees and beautiful flowers, Izmir Wildlife Park is one of the best places to visit in Ankara for wildlife enthusiasts as well as nature lovers alike.

Konak Pier

Discover Konak Pier, an iconic seafront complex designed by Gustave Eiffel. Once a customs building, it now hosts upscale shops, restaurants, and a cinema. This historic landmark is located near Konak Square in İzmir and blends old-world charm with modern appeal. It offers visitors stunning waterfront views while shopping, dining, or catching a film.

Church Of St Polycarp

Church of St Polycarp is the oldest functioning Christian worship site in Izmir, and it was named after the first bishop of Smyrna, St.Polycarp. This 19th-century church acts as the chief center of the Catholic diocese and is one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture.

Atatürk Monument

Atatürk Monument is a war memorial dedicated to the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is considered to be the Republic square in Izmir, and people from all across the world frequent over here to pay their homage to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Hisar Mosque

Hisar Mosque is the largest centre of Islamic gathering in Izmir, and the interior of this mosque is quintessentially beautiful. It was built in 1597, and it is one of the most splendid examples of Ottoman architecture.

Yali Mosque

Yali Mosque is also known as the Konak Mosque, and it was built to honor Küçük Hassan Pasha, who was the first Turkish commander of Chania. It was built in the 18th century and is one of the most iconic structures in Konak Square.

Konak Square

Konak Square is a busy square that is located in the Konak district of İzmir, and it acts as the common meeting point for locals as well as tourists alike. It houses some of the most famous attractions, like the beautiful Yah Mosque and Konak Clock Tower.

Izmir Museum Of History & Art

Izmir Museum of History & Art secures the topmost spot amidst the list of the top 10 places to visit in Izmir. It is spread over three pavilions and houses the richest repositories of the ancient artifacts and Greek statues. The sculpture pavilion of this museum features masterpieces from Miletos, Seos, Smyrna, and Pergamon.

Izmir Clock Tower

Located at the center of Izmir, the Clock Tower is a prominent landmark of the city standing at the height of 25m. It was built in 1901 in the middle of Konak Square to honor the twenty-fifth anniversary of Abdülhamid II, who was the Sultan of the Ottoman’s empire.


Discover Izmir Asansör, an iconic elevator built in 1907 to connect Karataş's hillside and coastline. This architectural gem not only eases travel but also hosts a cafe with panoramic views of the vibrant city and the azure sea. It is also perfect for a picturesque break or a light meal in historical surroundings.


Visit Izmir Kordon, a lively waterfront promenade stretching along the Aegean Sea. This area brims with cafes, restaurants, and parks, offering visitors a place to unwind. Stroll along the tree-lined paths, soak up the stunning sea views, and savour Turkish coffee while enjoying the serene sunset. Locals and tourists gather here for leisure, culture, and socialising.

Mount Kadifekale

Discover Mount Kadifekale, an ancient hilltop fortress in İzmir with a captivating history. The 3rd-century BC castle offers sweeping views of the Gulf of İzmir and the surrounding city. You can explore its remains during your visit, from towering walls to Roman cisterns. You can also enjoy the vibrant local atmosphere atop this significant cultural landmark.

Ataturk Museum

Initially built as a house by the first president of Turkey, it has now been turned by the government into a shrine for him, to house his writings and to illustrate the imprint he left on the country. It is a three-floored house, and it features a courtyard and restored bedrooms and bathrooms.

Izmir Archaeological Museum

Definitely one of the top 10 places to visit in Izmir as it has a plethora of items like utensils and statues from the Bronze Age and Greek and Roman periods!

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Izmir Things To Do FAQs

Which are the best things to do in Izmir?

The list of top things to do in Izmir is an endless one. But these options must be explored if you want to live in Izmir like the locals do.

1. Hierapolis-Pamukkale: Out of the many things to do in Izmir, time stands frozen at Hierapolis-Pamukkale, quite literally. Visiting Hierapolis-Pamukkale is like visiting a magical kingdom, with its Calcite-laden waters from the spring above Curuksu which have given birth to mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and white terraced basins known as the Cotton Palace. T

ake a walk into the Greco-Roman history of the place, with the original baths, temple ruins, theatre, and a monumental arch still present. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, enjoy the well-preserved theatre, a necropolis with 2-km long sarcophagi, and the Antique Pool that is popular for its submerged Roman columns. Don’t’ miss an opportunity to dip in the bath as the Roman must have done.

Location: Buyuk Menderes valley, Denizli
Price: 50 Turkish Lira
Timings: 6:30 am to 9 pm (summers), 6:30 am to 7 pm (rest of the year)

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2. Experience a Turkish Feast: 
You must have tried Turkish food in local restaurants in your city. But nothing can match the authentic tastes that can only be found in Izmir. When thinking of things to do in Izmir, food will not be your first thought. But to miss Turkish cuisine in Izmir, will mean that your trip is incomplete. Turkish cuisine has no concept of fast food or quick bites.

Every meal is a feast in Turkey, and Izmir is no different. You will start with small portions of olives and breads, and slowly make your way to roasted vegetables, whole grilled fish or meat, stews, salads, and cheese delicacies. When you are ready to burst open, call for Raki, a local anise-based alcohol. Akinin Yeri, a seaside restaurant, and Yengec Restaurant (inside a 150-year old stone building) are the best places to try authentic Turkish cuisine in Izmir.

Location: - Akinin Yeri - Özbek, 6077. Sokak No:16, 35430 Urla/Izmir
                 - Yengec Restaurant - Iskele Mahallesi 2121. Sokak No: 6 Daire: 1 Urla / Izmir

3. Enjoy Turkish Coffee: After Turkish food, trying Turkish coffee is a must, and what better place than Izmir for your first taste of authentic Turkish coffee. Just like the meal, the coffee is also an excuse to get together, and exchange gossip and news at daybreak or at the end of the day. Turkish coffee is not your regular brewed coffee that is made over a stove.

It is brewed over hot sand, and takes more time, also and is stronger in taste than regular coffee. Enjoy authentic coffee at Munire or at Sukru Bey’in Yeri while you list down more things to do in Izmir. The coffee is served directly to the cup without any filter. It is best to leave some at the end of the cup if you don’t want any grounded coffee in your mouth.

Location: - Munire - Alsancak, 1484. Sk. n:4, 35220 Konak/Izmir
                 - Sukru Beyin Yeri- Guzelyurt, 920/1. Sk.,35250 Konak/Izmir               

4. Visit the Kordon: The long stretch of promenade, locally known as the kordon, is among the signature spots of the city. When you have experienced all the possible things to do in Izmir, and want some quiet time, head to kordon. From Cumhuriyet Meydani and Alsancak in the north to Konak Pier and Konak Meydani in the south, locals and tourists gather here for long walks and the picturesque sunset.

If walking is not your thing, then you can rent bikes that are also available, to see the beautiful surroundings. The place is also surrounded with a number of cafés, restaurants and bars where you can go after your stroll or bike rides.

Location: Alsancak

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5. Surf school: 
If looking for some adventurous things to do in Izmir, head to the surf school to learn surfing, kite surfing, and sailing. Izmir is surrounded by a number of calm water bodies that make it the ideal location for novice water sport enthusiasts. If you have previous experience, you can also try out the rougher waters of Pirlanta.

Location: Alacati Surf Paradise Club or any surfing club near your location

6.Izmir Museum of History and Art: This is the best place to explore the history and culture of Turkey. Izmir Museum has three separate buildings dedicated to stone works, ceramics, and valuable items. Here you can witness and explore artefacts from the archaic period (900-700 BC), the classic period (490-330 BC), the Hellenistic period (330-30 BC), and the Roman period (30 BC-395 AD).

Take a tour of the coin collection dating back to 7th century BC with coins minted in Sardis under the reign of King Croesus. Or visit the sculpture pavilion that houses architectural ornaments from the Temple of Dionysos at Teos. Additionally, the theatre at Miletus, and the Belevi Mausoleum near Ephesus from the 3rd century BC are also worth seeing.

Location: Mimar Sinan, Kultur Park Fuar Alani Ici, 35220 Konak/Izmir, Turkey
Price: 6 Turkish Lira
Timings: 8 am to 4:45 pm

7. Meshur Hisaronu Sambalicisi: One of the oldest sweetshops in Izmir, Meshur Hisaronu Sambalicisi opened in 1942. Since then it has been the go-to place for Sambali, a local cake made from almond-studded semolina, yoghurt and sugar, and then dipped in sweet syrup.

Try their clotted cream version (kaymak). Pack some on your way out as this is the perfect partner for your evening cup of tea or coffee. While at it, do try some of the other Turkish delectables being sold here.

Location: Konak, 901. Sk. 13/A, 35250 Konak/Izmir, Turkey
Price: 5 Turkish Lira (Sambali)
Timings: 8:30 am to 7:30 pm (Monday to Saturday), 12 noon to 7 pm (Sunday)

8. International Izmir Festival: If you are visiting Izmir between May and June then the International Izmir Festival must be on your list of things to do in Izmir. This art festival is hosted by the Izmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education every year.

First held in 1987, this festival has become the most renowned art festival where the biggest names of the performing world visit. From popular orchestra performers to ballet troupes to theatre groups, everyone prepares and waits for this time of the year.

Location: Multiple venues
Timings: May to June

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What are the things to do in Izmir in Night?

Izmir’s nightlife is as interesting and eventful as its days. From magic shows and operas to midnight cafés and bars, there are plenty of things to do at Izmir at night.

1. Enjoy some drinks La Puerta: After an entire day in the city, head to La Puerta for chilled beers, specially crafted cocktails, and for a range of snacks. This is also the best place to try out Turkish craft beer, ask for Gara Guzu and Feliz Kulpa, two of the most popular local craft beers. The place is open till late in the night, and you can choose to sit in the inner courtyard or outside.

2. Visit Sunset Café: Sunset Café is perfect for those who like roadside seating. Located at the edge of a boulevard, with an informal seating arrangement on the pavement, this is a great place to meet the local youth. Open till two in the morning, you can grab drinks and some food on the go.

3. Party your heart out at Kovan: If you’re looking for a place to party, then Kovan must be on your list of things to do at Izmir at night. A favorite among both locals and tourists, Kovan has a barn-style decoration and an open-air courtyard at the back. Kovan gets really busy during the weekends, making it a challenge to find a spot easily. The cheap beer, an array of bar food, and constant music by the in-house DJ are the major crowd-pullers.

4. Explore Devlet Opera ve Bale: For lovers of art and culture, the Turkish State Opera and Ballet (Devlet Opera ve Ballet) is a must-visit. This is the national directorate of opera and ballet companies in Turkey. With the constant support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, they host opera and ballet performances with local and international artists all year round. Check out their website for program schedule and ticket bookings.

5. Have a meal at Meyhane Alsancak: If you are craving some Turkish food late at night, head to Meyhane Alsancak. Famous for its seafood, their sole fish with shrimp sauce is a local hit. Modelled in the style of an old Greek tavern, walking in here is like walking into your favorite aunt’s home – the food is plenty, and the people are warm. Surrounded by local music, you will be welcomed to share food across tables.

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What are the most romantic things that to do in Izmir for couples?

Lovebirds, honeymooning couples, and those looking to rekindle their love, Izmir’s beauty and serenity attracts everyone. The list of romantic things to do in Izmir is long, but you must not leave the city without the following experiences.

1. Visit the famous Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower): Located in the Konak Square, this historical clock tower was designed by French architect, Raymond Charles Pere in the year 1901. Ever since, this has remained a popular tourist destination in Izmir. Decorated in Ottoman architectural style with Moorish-themed columns, this must be on your list of romantic things to do in Izmir. Take some time to climb up the tower for a breathtaking view of the city and those instagramable pictures with your significant other.

2. Admire the marvel Konak Pier: Designed by the French architect, Gustav Eiffel (the father of Eiffel Tower) in 1890, Konak Pier was originally built as a customs building. Over the years, it has transformed in functionality several times, and today stands as an upmarket shopping centre. Head here with your partner for some quality time near the first kordon, and some shopping.

3. Have some fun time iKSEV Salon: Located inside the Izmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education, iKSEV Salon hosts a number of performances. It is the centre for the Izmir European Jazz Festival and just the perfect place if music is your thing. iKSEV Salon should be on your list of romantic things to do in Izmir for a memorable romantic evening with your partner.

4. Wine tasting at Sevilen wine resort: Vineyards are Turkey’s best kept secret from the world. But once you taste Turkish wine, chances are you will lose your taste for all other varieties of wine in the world. Make a quick getaway to the Sevilen wine resort to try some in-house brews and delicious food in their restaurant, Isabey. From making wine to wine tasting, check out their website for the various events hosted here year-round.

5. Relax at Selcuk Hamam: What can be more romantic than a couple’s spa, and Selcuk Hamam is your best bet. The oldest Hamam (bath place) in Turkey, Selcuk Hamam is the ideal place for a relaxing scrub and spa experience. Moreover, the surrounding ruins are an architecture lover’s delight. Therefore, a day at Selcuk Hamam for some relaxing with a generous dose of history, makes it one of the romantic things to do in Izmir. Since this is a significant tourist attraction, it is best to have some time on hand instead of rushing through the experience.

6. Relive your romance on Siesta Boat Trip: No list of romantic things to do in Izmir can be complete without a leisurely boat trip across the calm, blue waters with your loved one. The trip also includes a hot lunch and a three-hour sunset dinner. All the meals come with both vegetarian and gluten-free variations for the visitors on-boards. This six-hour cruise will take you across four stunning turquoise bays & the Paradise Island, making it a memorable one.

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Which are the best places to enjoy shopping in Izmir?

If shop-till-you-drop is your mantra then you have landed at the right place. Get your fill of local spices and dried fruits in markets that have survived over centuries, and adapted to every modernization. Izmir will also give you ample opportunities to bargain over local handicraft.

1. Kemeralti Market: Head to Kemeralti Market and watch Izmir come alive. This is the central market of the city, and you can find everything here. Dating back to the 17th century, here the shopkeepers are happy to chat even if you don’t buy anything. And you just can’t leave without trying out Turkish delight that is made in the right front of your eyes.

2. Village of Sirince: This quaint little village with nearly 600 inhabitants offers something for everyone. An ideal mix of traditional Turkish and traditional Greek, the streets are lined with fresh produce, organic dried fruits, and local handicrafts. This is the best place to pick up souvenirs for friends back home.

3. Kizlaragasi Han Bazaar:  Stepping inside Kizlaragasi Han Bazaar is like stepping back in time. Made up of several shopping streets, including Cevahir Bedesten, Bakir Bedesten, Cuha Bedesten, and Sacmahane, this market dates back to the 18th century. From handicrafts to carpets, and leather goods to local spices, you will find it all here.

4. Havra Sokagi: Literally meaning the synagogue street, Havra Sokagi is named so because of the large number of surrounding synagogues here. This is the best place to purchase fresh local produce of fruits, vegetables, olives and helva (a local sweet made of sesame seeds).

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What are the things to do in Izmir with kids?

In any other location you may find it challenging to keep your kid entertained, but not in Izmir. From open parks to theme parks, your children will have the time of their lives.

1. Have a fun day at Kulturpark: This large park and fairground has enough space for your child to run around and play freely. There is a small funfair inside the park that is open only during summers. Surrounded by trees, Kulturpark is the best place to spend some time with your children in nature.

2. Witness the wonder Asansor: This historic building was constructed in 1907 to ease passage of people and goods from the narrow coast of Karatas to the hillside. Today it is one of the most popular viewpoints in the city. Standing atop the tower, you will get the most breath-taking view of Izmir that no guide book can ever describe. Make sure to bring your children here for some beautiful views from top of the hill.

3. Slash some water at Aqua Fantasy: You are never too old to enjoy a theme park. And if you have children, then it’s the best excuse to visit one. Aqua Fantasy is a water-theme park with rides for all age groups. From adventure rides for the whole family to leisurely wave pools, you are bound to have a lot of fun with your little ones.

4. Dive into nature at Izmir Wildlife Park: Ideal to spend an entire day with the kids, Izmir Wildlife Park is home to wildlife from Africa, Asia, Europe and America. Opened in 2008, the Park is also home to several endangered species of animals and is an active member of the animal conservation team of Turkey. The Park also has a play area for young kids and a dining area where you and your family can dine.

5. Explore the Yali Castle: Themed like a castle from the middle-ages, Yali Castle is a water-theme park in Izmir. Perfect to spend time with your family; Yali Castle has rides for people of all ages. Enjoy the adrenaline rush on one of their rides, go wild in the rain dance, or simply relax in the jacuzzi, Yali Castle will have you coming back for more.

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Why is Izmir known as the Pearl of the Aegean?

Izmir is known as the Pearl of the Aegean due to its rich historical roots and its current reputation as an important port city. It is one of the oldest settlements of the Mediterranean, the remnants of which still stand at various corners of the modern city. In the present times, due to its geographical location at the head of the gulf, it enjoys the privilege of being a significant trade centre. The diverse cuisine of Izmir adds to its goodwill, and is testimony to its rich history.

How to reach Izmir?

Izmir is well-connected with India, and all major countries in the world, via Turkey. Take a flight to Turkey from any part of the world and visit Izmir. Izmir can easily be reached by air, train, bus and car from all major cities of Turkey.

1. Rail – Basmane Station and Alsancak Station are the two main railway stations in the city. There are regular train services to both the stations from all the major cities of Turkey.

2. Road – You can drive down to Izmir in your private vehicle. This is the best way to enjoy the local scenery.

3. Bus – Izmir Bus Terminus serves buses and shuttles arriving from all major cities of Turkey. Buses are available from the terminus every 20 minutes.

4. Air – Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport is connected with Istanbul, Antalya and Ankara. It has recently expanded to accommodate direct flights from Europe through British Airways and KLM.

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What is the best time to reach Izmir?

The best time to reach Izmir is from June to August. The weather is pleasant at this time of the year as there is less rainfall. Summers can get extremely hot, but the evenings are pleasant due to the sea breeze. Winters too can be extreme with temperature falling below zero degrees Celsius.

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Is Izmir worth visiting?

Most definitely, Izmir is worth visiting, and revisiting. If you visit Turkey, Izmir must be on your list of places to visit. A modern city with strong historical routes, Izmir is the prime example of how the past and the present can peacefully coexist. Its cuisine has maintained traditional methods, and adapted modern influences. If you don’t visit Izmir, you will miss an experience of a lifetime.

How safe is Izmir?

Izmir is a safe city to live in and to visit. Certain areas may be marked as high-security during festivals and other national events, and may have restricted entry for tourists. If not sure whether you should visit certain parts or not, seek help from the local police station.

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What is Izmir known for?

Izmir is most famous for its historic relevance. From the Greeks to the Romans to the Ottomans, Izmir has hosted people of all nationalities. Their impact on Izmir’s lifestyle is visible in the architecture and the food. A number of ancient ruins are still part of the beauty and attraction of this city.

How expensive is Izmir?

Izmir is not a very expensive city to be in. A two-week trip to Izmir can be achieved in under 2844 Turkish Lira (approx.) that converts to 33,500 INR (approx.). Izmir has a lot of options for all types of budgets. If you plan it right, you can visit Izmir without burning a hole in your pocket. Seek help from the locals for the best places for food and coffee on a budget.

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How far is Izmir from Antalya?

Izmir is 358 kms (222 miles) from Antalya. You can easily take an intercity flight from Izmir to Antalya and back.

How far is Pamukkale from Izmir?

Pamukkale is 182 kms (113 miles) from Izmir. You can take an intercity flight or a local bus to travel from Izmir to Pamukkale and back.

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Do I need a visa for Izmir?

Visa requirements and policies may differ depending on the country from which you will visit Izmir. But in most cases a visa is mandatory before reaching Izmir.

Indians need a visa for Izmir which can be purchased from before the actual travel date. The e-visa can either be downloaded from the site or from the email ID provided on the site at the time of application. It is best to keep a print out of the visa at all times. Indians can only apply for a 90-day tourist visit for one visit. Extensions are not allowed as per Turkish tourism laws.

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